Smoke #9

Notable Nuances Photography by Susan Wilkinson

Canon 6D, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO 6400 Canon 6D, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO 6400

Smoker #9 ~ Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, Arkansas
Artist:Tom Wesselmann (1931 – 2004)
Dimensions: 83 x 89 1/2 in. (210.8 x 227.3 cm)
Medium: Acrylic on canvas

One of the preeminent pop artists of the 1960s, Wesselmann established his repertoire of subject matter early on. Focusing on traditional themes—still life, landscape, and the nude—he often incorporated consumer items designed for the marketplace into his images as collage elements. In 1961, the year that Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein debuted their Pop Art productions, Wesselmann began his first important series: the Great American Nude. Smoker #9 is a grand-scale shaped canvas. Wesselmann isolated his model’s sensual mouth, removing it from a social context and even from its attendant body. The painting’s oversized, slick surface reads as a billboard advertisement. Smoker #9 features many of the hallmarks of Wesselmann’s most accomplished works: evocations of…

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